Earth & Environment

The "third rock from the Sun"—Earth. With an orbit neither too close nor too far from the Sun, it occupies a unique position in the Solar System. It's the only planet known to man with the right conditions for the origin and evolution of life. During Earth's 4.5 billion-year history, a combination of processes has transformed it into a watery blue, living planet. The Earth's ecosystems involve complex interactions between the biological (living) and physical (non-living) worlds. Scientific research helps us comprehend our effects on the environment and how the environment in turn responds to impacts of our activities.

NSF Science Now: Episode 64

In this week's episode, we examine barnacles and the wealth of information they hold; explore our brains and perception; and, finally, we test pseudo-LiDAR for self-driving cars. Check it out!

Here's what an Antarctic ice shelf sounds like

Winds blowing across snow dunes on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf cause the massive ice slab's surface to vibrate, producing a near-constant drumroll of seismic "tones" scientists could potentially use to monitor changes in the ice shelf from afar, according to new research

Fires in the West may be changing the future of forests

Following the Yellowstone National Park wildfires of 1988, Monica Turner, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of integrative biology, immediately got to work studying the recovery of the forests, and has continued to do so in the decades since

Tanana, Alaska: Connecting food, energy and water

The Tanana community is one of four selected for participation in the National Science Foundation project, "Coupling infrastructure improvements to food-energy-water system dynamics in small cold region communities: MicroFEWs"

Cordova, Alaska: Connecting food, energy and water

The Cordova community is one of four selected for participation in the National Science Foundation project, "Coupling infrastructure improvements to food-energy-water system dynamics in small cold region communities: MicroFEWs"

The Changing Arctic 

Researchers funded by the National Science Foundation are helping understand changes in the Arctic, from incorporating the unique perspectives of indigenous communities in the Arctic and subarctic to developing new technologies that collect more data to assist with better modeling